iz A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
greyish opalescence as-twilight crept qvickly over the scene. The breath-taking tints disappeared together with the great round dying light,
And against the opal background I saw the Sphinx begin to take on the colour of night; no longer did the last red rays shine vividly across its featureless face.
Out of the omnipresent sands it emerged, this giant face with recumbent body that inspires superstitious Bedouins with such fear that they name it "The Father of Terror/' and sceptical travellers with such wonder that in every age its colossal figure has raised questions upon the lips of those who gapingly behold it for the first time. The mystery of this unnatural combination, this lion with a human head, has vaguely attracted an age-old procession of visitors. It is an enigma for the Egyptians themselves and a puzde for the entire world. No one knows who carved it or when; the most expert Egyptologist? can but guess blindly at its meaning and history.
In the final glimpse which the vanishing light permitted me to receive, my own eyes came to rest on the stone eyes of the Sphinx, which, still and quiet, had watched myriads come, one by one, to look at it questioningly, and then depart perplexed: which, unmoved, had seen the dark men of a now-lost world, the Atlanteans, engulfed under millions of tons of water: which, half-smiling, had witnessed Mena, the first of the Pharaohs, turn ^yonder Nile, Egypt's beloved river, from its course and force it to flow through a new bed: which, silently regretful, had seen the grave saturnine face of Moses bowed in a last farewell: which, mutely, sorrow-stricken, had viewed the sufferings of its ruined and ravaged land c-fter fierce Cambyses burst over Egypt from Persia: which, charmed yet contemptuous, had seen the haughty, silken-tressed Cleopatra land from a vessel with gilded stern, purple sails and silver oars: which, delighted, had welcomed the young wandering Jesus as he sought the Eastern wisdom, preparing for the appointed hour of his public mission, when his Father would send him forth with a divine message of love and pity: which, secretly pleased, had blessed a brave, generous and learned young noble, one Saladin, so that he rode away, his crescent-inscribed, green-pennoned lance in the air, to become one day the Sultan of Egypt: which, warningly, had greeted Napoleon as an instrument of Europe's fate, that fate which would set his name so high as. to eclipse all other names and then force him to stand